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on September 17, 2012
I've been an iPad user since the original came out. I also have an iPad 3. I have worked in IT for the past few years so I would say I am pretty good with technology and fancy new devices. With that introduction out of the way, I will be reviewing key points that I have seen touched upon in other reviews. Here goes...

BUILD
The device feels nice and solid. I'm a little surprised at how heavy it is, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The rubberized backing is always nice for added grip. It's not as nice as say unibody aluminum, but it's not $500 either.

SCREEN
The screen is fantastic. But my problem is the same as when iPad got Retina Display, other than the OS, most apps look rather pixelated. A lot of the games I tried are not high definition, at least not high enough to look smooth on this screen. Hopefully apps get updated to higher resolutions.

LOCK SCREEN ADS
Yeah there are ads on my lock screen. I'm not sure why this is such a big deal. How much time do people really spend looking at the lock screen? The first thing I thought when I saw the ads is WOW the pictures are really crisp! The ads are there to subsidize some of the $200 price tag. I might pay the $15 to get rid of them so I can customize it, but I might not. I feel like this has been blown out of proportion by other customers.

SOUND
The sound from the speakers is great. Much better than you would get from more expensive devices, very crisp and clean. I have the official Amazon case on and it has not affected the sound at all. Nothing much else to say, I doubt anyone will complain about this.

CRASHING
I've had two apps crash on opening. I don't know if it is the app or the OS. It's probably somewhere in the middle. Again, not a big deal for me. If it crashes, then I just tap it again and it works. I've also watched a few movies using the built in player as well as Netflix and Amazon Prime. No crashes for me at all. I'm sure OS stability will be improved as time goes on.

OVERALL SATISFACTION
Compared to my iPad 3, obviously the Fire HD is not as "good" so to speak. I mainly got it because I wanted something smaller. I also mainly used the iPad to surf the web, watch videos, and play some simple games. The Fire HD accomplishes this and does so much more. If you are expecting an iPad killer, or a desktop replacement, or a productivity machine, then you should look elsewhere.

I bought this to be a media device, and I believe that is what Amazon meant this to be. In this regard, I think this is a great device. In fact, I decided to keep this and sell my iPad 3, which will give me another $200+ to spend on other things. Just remember, this device is not for everyone. If you want a media device, you will be happy with this. Do not expect an iPad for $200.

UPDATE 9/18/12
Just wanted to add a few more things I have noticed over the past 24 hours.

- Power/Volume Buttons: There are a bit hard to press, which is somewhat alleviated by having the official case. Maybe it's because I'm a longtime iPad user, but this will definitely take some getting used to.

- Screen Glare: It took me a little while to notice, but I was playing a Seek & Find game while on Caltrain, with the bright Palo Alto sun shining right on me, and didn't have any trouble seeing the screen. I remembered that Amazon mentioned how the screen was changed to reduce glare, and they did an amazing job.

UPDATE 9/20/12
Two days later and I am still very happy with the device. Here are some more thoughts from me:

BATTERY LIFE
I have been playing Enigmatis (a hidden object game) for about an hour and a half each day on my commute. This drains about 15 - 20% of the battery with the screen brightness almost at the highest setting. Again, not iPad gold standard, but still very good.

SYNCING MUSIC
I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 and used an app called Easy Phone Transfer to get all my music from iTunes onto the phone. It transferred everything, including album covers, and I was hoping to find something like that for this device. I tried iSyncr, a $3 app, which did the job, but did not sync over album covers. I uploaded all my music into the Cloud, then downloaded it from Amazon, which increased the audio quality for a lot of my songs and added artwork, but this still did not show up on the device.

I got very frustrated getting all the album artwork over and eventually just gave up. It's not a big deal but I am kind of anal about those kinds of things. Just a heads up if anyone else out there is crazy about it like I am.

UPDATE 09/21/12
I got a call from Amazon Customer Service about this review, which surprised me very much. They advised me the best way to get the artwork to show up is have the songs in both the Cloud Player as well as the device, which I know does work fine. I was hoping to have the artwork show without needing things in the Cloud, but not a big deal any more.

I am more impressed with the fact that Amazon called me to give me advice on how to remedy the situation and ask if there were any other questions I had on the Kindle. The representative said he wanted to make sure I was happy with the Fire HD. This is one of the big reasons I went with the Kindle, and with Amazon in general. I have had great experiences with their customer service, who have always been able to handle my issues quickly and efficiently. No need to set up an appointment days later with a wannabe IT guy with a hugely overstated job title.

So this update is not really for the device itself, but sometimes it's not just the device, it's the company that offers it that makes a difference. This is why I no longer have any Apple devices, as cool as they may be. But it's not 100% gravy, as I have noticed lately that the keyboard keeps popping up randomly on screens where there is nowhere to enter text, ie. while playing a game. I just have to press the Back arrow to get rid of it, but maybe a bug the Amazon engineers want to take a look at.

UPDATE 10/05/12
So I don't know if it was always there, but over this past weekend I noticed a dead pixel on my Kindle's screen. I called Kindle Support and after a short 5 minute call, they sent me a new Kindle, no questions asked. So once again, very happy with Amazon customer service. I am still very happy with the device, and have some more thoughts on it:

HDMI CONNECTION
I bought an HDMI cable to hook up the Fire to my 46" Samsung and was quite impressed with the results. The quality was very good, not Bluray quality of course, but better than SDTV on an HD screen. You actually see every single thing you do on the big screen, like you are using a giant Kindle.

GOOGLE PLAY APPS
One of the main drawbacks in my opinion is, or should I say was, the lack of all the Google Play apps available on the Kindle. With a little research, I found out how to add apps that are not available in the Amazon store. It is pretty easy to do and works very well with the apps I tried. This greatly improves my opinion of the Fire HD.

PLASTIC AROUND THE SCREEN
The outer most edges of the Kindle are plastic. I noticed some kind of discoloration on the corner of mine, and just thought it was some dirt to scratch off. So I rubbed my thumb nail on the area, and noticed there were visible marks on the plastic. It appears this plastic can scratch some what easily, but I think this is just cosmetic as not of the plastic actually flaked. If you are not very anal about how your stuff looks, you probably won't notice it.

OS CHANGES
Here are two small gripes I have with the OS that I'm sure could be fixed with an OS update:

- Battery Meter: It would be nice if the battery meter could show percentage instead of just a graphic bar. Some people have mentioned Battery HD, but you still have to swipe down to see the percentage, so this makes it easier but does not solve the issue I had.

- Personal Videos: The mp4 videos I put on the device are located in the "Personal Videos" app, which shows screen shots of all the videos I put in. The problem is, all that is shown are the screen shots. You can get more info by holding your finger down on each video, but when you have multiple seasons of a show on the Kindle, it can get confusing. Ideally we should be able to look at videos in a list like our music.

UPDATE 11/15/12
Still very happy with the device. Here are some more thoughts:

LEFT HAND MODE
I did't think this would be a problem until I played a Solitaire game that DID have a left-handed mode. As a lefty who usually uses the Fire in landscape, I often have to reach across the screen to access the Settings or Home button in the menu. It's a small grievance, but can be really annoying when watching a movie or reading something. If there was an option for a left-handed layout with the menus on the left side of the device, that would be great.

PERSONAL VIDEOS APP
I had earlier complained about this app, as it did not list my movies and crashed playing a pair of them. I recently drove down to LA from SF, and put 5 movies on device, only to find that 4 of them would not play! I was pretty mad, until I remembered a simple solution, download another app. I downloaded Avia Media Player, which is not the greatest either, but it played all the movies I put on the Kindle. My faith was restored.

GOOGLE PLAY APPS
A lot of people have asked how to do this. If you are not having luck with Google searches, try this:

[...]
5150+ comments| 31,425 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
An Amazon.com official commented on the review below
on September 17, 2012
I have been an Amazon customer for years having owned the first gen Kindle and currently the 6" Kindle. I have purchased the 1st gen Fires for my children for Christmas last year and I have purchased both the touch and 1st Fire for my father.

I already own an Ipad and did not feel the need to own a Fire, since I believe they duplicated the same purpose. I did however place an order for the Paperwhite, but after thinking about it, why not own a full functional device that is more than just an ereader.

I love the eInk displays and how light the regular Kindles are. One of my main gripes about tables are that they are heavier and you cant read the screen in bright daylight. I'm not really sure why the daylight is such a big deal for me, since I probably only read outside when I'm on vacation (2x a year).

Anyway, I cancelled the Paperwhite and ordered the Fire HD. I love it. It is portable, I never take my Ipad anywhere, just too big. I uploaded my entire music library from Itunes to Amazon Cloud, (so much for being locked down Apple!) and of course all of my books are on it. I regularly borrow books from my local library and was often frustrated that when I was away from home I could not search for books on my regular Kindle, becuase the experimental browser was just not functional enough.

The sound is amazing as everyone has said, as well as the display. No need to go into detail about what everyone else said. My only gripe is that the touch screen is not really as responsive as I would like, but it still works fine. The display does cut the reflection and you can read out doors. That is not to say there is no glare, it's just not an unreadable LCD screen any longer.

As far as the ads go, I don't find them obtrusive. I like knowing what other people bought or may have looked at. What's the big deal? If your friends recommend something to you, do you get mad? Same thing here to me.

I like that I can sync my email and now, actually use the Prime streaming video service. Yes, I know I could use the app on my Ipad, but like I said, I like it all packaged neatly here.

My only question is how many HD movies/TV shows can you download to the device? I like to download them when I travel and delete when I get home.

If you are an Amazon user, you should know that this tablet is no different that any other device (Apple?) that tries to get you completely integrated into their system. Should not really be a surprise to anyway that all of the shopping experiences point to Amazon.

I am pleased to have a tablet that is portable and easy to use.

Great job Amazon.

My word to the rest of the "reviewers" don't actually own the product, but write reviews on products that you don't own, to grip about a feature you read about. It's silly and clutters the reviews for those of us that actually like reading what other people are saying about a product.

**Update 10/1/2012**

After having my fire for a few weeks I still have very few complaints. I pretty much carry it with me whenever I am out of the house. I love having the option to read or if there way available wi-fi watch a movie. I wish it came with 4G but I bet it would make the price out of line with other small tablets.

The only cons I have is the typing experiences. It seems there is not predicitive text for the Silk browser which makes typing a little tough. I hear though there will be an update.

I dislike fingerprints on the screen when reading, but easily remedied with s soft cloth.

I have read 3 books and I am on my 4th and the screen is no issue whatsoever. This was my biggest concern before purchasing. I have no issue whatsoever. Just so you know, I read a lot and love the Eink Kindles, so this was an experiment to see if I could read for long periods of time with no eyestrain. Not an issue at all.

All in all I still love it. I have not used my Ipad since getting my fire.
5150+ comments| 7,529 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on August 23, 2016
Love it! I purchased this as I have had audible for quite some time now and thought it would be easier just to get the Amazon Brand for downloading from KindlePrime, Audible and even the endless books for being a Prime member AND it is!! I have a reader also, thought that was all I would ever need, now wishing I would have just purchased this in the beginning. Being a Prime Member and all of the new neat things Amazon is coming up with, this is just way better AND easier (for me) NO DOUBT about it. I DO like all the features it has and the tech help available when you have issues (if you are sooo behind in the tech world as I am) ;-) Next Kindle FIre I purchase will be the 64 GB though...kind of just thought try it on for size (so to speak)... had no idea I would truly like it so much! Very pleased with this purchase!! Seems well made and durable, although the kid case I purchased to go with it might be why it feels as such LOL!!
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on October 7, 2012
I purchased the Kindle Fire HD after returning a Lenovo Idea Pad. I have also had experience with iPads. Having said that, the Kindle Fire HD is an exceptional value for the money. The screen is FANTASTIC. Glare is kept to a minimum, colors a bright and vibrant, text is clear and easily read, movies look phenomenal in HD. Also, the sound quality and volume is bar-none for a device this size. The touch screen is responsive and shortcuts like tapping, double tapping, and pinch zoom work great. The size, weight and thickness are great for portability. It is easily slipped into the interior pocket of a jacket and takes up little room in a backpack. The weight and size makes it easy to hold with just one hand and the rubberized back panel is great for grip. The amazon store provides an almost unlimited supply, of books, movies, tv shows, music, magazines, and newspapers that is only improved with a subscription to amazon prime.
Now, for the negatives. The power button and volume rocker are tough to find as they are flush with device and provide little tactile feedback when looking for them. I solved this problem by putting a thin strip of colored tape on the side of the device that has these buttons. The Amazon app store is very limited when compared to the full android app store. Hopefully the app library will only grow with the device's popularity. Apps from the full android store can be "side loaded" in a few easy steps but please be aware that not all apps will work with the kindle. Lastly, the "carousel" home screen is about as useful as a spoon is for cutting steak. Say you are finished reading a magazine and want to switch to another app, when you go back to the home screen, the magazine you just read and are done with is the first thing you see. It makes it very hard to find and switch between apps. I am glad, however that they included a favorites section where you can store your most-used apps. The sliding top menu is also very well organized and makes it easy to find games, books, apps, and more. My last problem is that there is no expandable memory. 16 gigs is a lot but if you have a large music or video library, space quickly becomes limited. I guess this is remedied by the cloud but that is only available when wifi is.
Overall, the Kindle is a great value for the money, I find myself using it and loving more each day. It has a WONDERFUL screen, operates smoothly and is durable, portable and ultimately tons of fun!
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on September 17, 2014
Just received my Used-Good item from Amazon Warehouse Deals. Have gone through about 3 hours of customer service and it appears the item is defective. Although it indicates a nearly full charge, it turns off randomly. Despite it showing as registered, agents could not detect it in my account. Went through three agents and tried numerous "fixes" including resetting, downloading new software and other attempts. Not sure if I should be upset at the manufacture or the QA at Warehouse but at least I can understand why there is an abundance of returns.

No point in me trying my hand at another from AWD. My first and last Kindle *Fire* purchase. Have a Paperwhite and three other generations of standard Kindles. I have been a customer for years--really disappointed in this experience. Hope no one else has to deal with similar.
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on July 13, 2015
Being considered " A Valued Customer," due to the fact that my husband and I purchased items almost daily from Amazon, they have failed me terribly with their Kindle Fire HD 7.

The reason is:

I purchased a Kindle Fire HD 7 with an extended warranty in early 2013. It failed. Contacted the Tech Desk, jumped through all their hoops, and they replaced it with a NEW Kindle Fire HD 7, March 13, 2015. My second Kindle HD 7 has now failed, and after 5 phone calls over several weeks, and many many hoops to jump through, I'm told they won't replace it, and I will have to purchase another. They said that my NEW Kindle HD 7 was warranted under my extended warranty from the first dead Kinlde HD 7, not the one year warranty that should have come with the NEW Kindle HD 7's March 13th exchange.

My Question is... Why didn't the new Kindle Fire HD 7 have the 1 year warranty? AND why should I buy another one with this kind of service?

I apparently have to rate this or it won't print my comment...
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on December 8, 2012
I must admit I am loyal to Amazon as a customer in all that they offer both in service and in price. I try to keep current on all the technology that is out there. Actually, this is my second Kindle Fire. My wife has the first Kindle Fire from when it came out last year for Christmas. I was considering getting another tablet that was not just a reader and found the new Kindle Fire HD to serve my purpose after a lot of research and review with other computer Goo-Rues. Again, I really enjoy the Kindle Cloud and their support. Also, unlike what people have said the Kindle Fire has a simple switch to turn off only the Kindle Fire apps and one can get anything such as Google androids have to offer such as Drop Box to view from other devices and my desktop computer.
The screens clarity and qualtiy could not be better as I have compared it with a friends new Google Maxim. I almost do not want to show him becasue of the excellent functioning carousel that stands out much better making most recent work easy to see and bring up again with excellent history.
Ironically, the down side so far is that my wifes older Kindle Fire is everybit as good of reader but also has a specticle glasses icon to enlarge readiblity on some websties. So far I have not found anything on the Kindle Fire HD that can match that other than using the pinch method as with other androids and Ipads. This makes my wife happy as we set down to read our kindles together that her older Fire can beat me in this one area.
I am planing to stream live video to the Large Screen TV using the micro HDMI port but as yet have not gotten the cables yet.
I have downloaded SKYPE and used the HD's camera to Skype my son who lives in another state and had a wonderful visit viewing the entire family and household. If only I could see the speck icon like my wife's Kindle Fire this to me would be ultimately flawless. Maybe I will find some other setting that can match her on this?
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on March 23, 2014
This device has a known defect - it will basically crash randomly once in a while and you need to turn in back on. Just search "kindle fire hd crashes" and you will see what I mean. There is even a thread on Amazon describing this - not sure if Amazon will keep the link in this review (http://www.amazon.com/forum/kindle?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1D7SY3BVSESG&cdThread=Tx34UVRK1RMGYZQ)

In any case, my device started exhibiting these issues after about 8 months. After speaking with several kindle support reps in various countries (but not a single one from the U.S.) they finally reached the conclusion that my device needs to be replaced. But under these conditions:

1) If I don't return the old device, I need to pay $244, which is what my device cost in May 2013. While this is a moot point (because I would return the defective device) I doubt the device currently costs anywhere near that. In fact, the 32GB version I own is obsolete.

2) The device I will be getting is actually refurbished, not new.

3) The warranty on the new device will be 90 days. Given that my old device started having problems after 8 months, what good is a 90 day warranty on the replacement item?

If one buys a new item with a 365 day warranty and the manufacturer realized it's defective, I expect to receive exactly what I bought - a new item with a 365 day warranty. From Amazon, I would have expected even more - especially since they get almost $100 back from me each year on the Kindle Free Time feature.

In 6 months I may just end up with the new version of the iPad mini...
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on December 21, 2012
I'm going to first start off by saying I compared this to my 16GB iPad Mini, nothing more, nothing less. They are in the same league but definitely different levels and for different audiences.

PROS
------
*PRICE: The price is just simply amazing for what you get at $200.

*BUILD: This thing is built with quality and durability in mind.

*SCREEN: Although not full HD, the screen is simply amazing and EASILY beats the iPad Mini's screen.

*SOUND: Dual Dolby Stereo speakers located on the back of the tablet opposed to the bottom like the iPad Mini's. The speakers on this easily out do the iPad Mini's in every way.

*AMAZON INTEGRATION: Being able to seamlessly have Amazon content including but not limited to Kindle Books, MP3, Instant Video, Amazon.com, etc is just awesome, especially if you're an Amazon Prime member.

*SIZE: I do prefer the .9-inch bigger screen size of the iPad Mini, but the Kindle 7" HD makes up for that .9" in screen resolution compared to the iPad Mini's non-HD resolution.

CONS
------
The cons are simple here for me, the lack of games and apps of coarse. Apple's iOS ecosystem is just simply amazing and I love it. Being able to sync across other Apple devices via iCloud and Apple Apps is just the butter on the bread for me. However, if you are looking to mainly read books/magazines, browse the web on the go, watch Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, shop and play a limited selection of games then the Kindle HD is definitely a force to be reckoned with, ESPECIALLY at $199.

In the end, if you're on a tight budget, aren't an Apple iOS fan or simply just need to do very basic tasks, the Kindle HD is a great choice and is a great tablet but still isn't on par with even a lower hardware spec Apple iPad Mini.
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on May 3, 2013
After reading reviews, I was very skeptical about getting this product. However, I love it. I am 21 and I have 3 young children. I am married. I am starting my own business. And I am in college. This gives me needed flexibilty. I also bought a cover and stylus and screen protector so I am able to let me kids use it to watch movies on Amazon prime AND HuluPlus with out worrying about them breaking it (my 2 and 3 yr old boys) I am able to do my school work with no problems. The camera is only 1. something mp but it takes really good, clear photos. Better than my 4 mp camera phone. It is definitely HD, everything is so clear and beautiful on it. The size is perfect for traveling with. With the cover, it looks like a book or journal so I don`t worry too much about it ever getting stolen. I have downloaded apps to help me manage my money and build my business plan. The speakers are wonderful, so clear. Many people said there is no indication of the Kindle charging. Wrong. The battery icon turns green as it is charging, white when it is not. The only thing I don`t like is having to HAVE wi-fi in order to use it. There is no way to connect to a USB internet stick. If your apps and movies/books are already added to your tablet, you don`t need wi-fi to use them (unless they are apps that need internet like Facebook) The memory is only 16gb however, everything you download, you can save to your cloud/Amazon account and use it later/when you need it. It`s only been a couple of days but I am impressed. I will update as needed.
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